Funding the new children's hospital

 

Madam, – The National Paediatric Hospital Development Board is the statutory organisation established by the Minister for Health to plan and design the new children’s hospital to be located in Eccles Street in Dublin. Why then is the New Children’s Hospital in Ireland Foundation named as the applicant for planning permission, lodged with An Bord Pleanála?

Indeed who/what is the New Children’s Hospital in Ireland Foundation? Tallaght Hospital Action Group applied to the Companies Registration Office for information on the new foundation. It was established in 2009 initially as a holding company before in 2010 a board of directors was formed from the philanthropy committee of the National Paediatric Hospital Development Board.

The foundation shares the address of the NPDB and under their articles of association were formed to fundraise for the new hospital. All this is hardly surprising as we know that philanthropy was going to be required to fund the hospital in the future. It does not explain, however, why this group applied for planning application to An Bord Pleanála.

Minister for Health Mary Harney TD has maintained that the money exists for the construction of this new hospital. The only possible explanation that exists for this foundation and not the statutory body to apply for planning is that this new charity will need to fundraise for the very construction of this building. We believe that the foundation will seek National Lottery money to fund this project and this is why they applied for planning and not the NPDB.

€24 million has already been spent on this project with nothing tangible or concrete in evidence for this massive expenditure. Will the New Children’s Hospital have to depend on the €4 quick picks of the nation? We are calling on the Minister for Health to come clean and admit the funding does not exist for this disastrous project. – Yours, etc,

TRIONA MURPHY,

Chairperson,

Tallaght Hospital Action Group.

Ballycullen View,

Dublin 24.